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AWADmail Issue 85

September 1, 2002

A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Interesting Tidbits about Words and Languages

From: Lesley North (lesroyATchequers12.freeserve.co.uk)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--oniomania

I always thought that someone who shopped till they dropped was mall-adjusted.

From: Padma Venkatraman (padma.venkatramanATogilvy.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--oniomania

Interesting question that about whether one buys into a product or a brand. yes, one does at least sub-consciously buy into the images and the proposition that the brand offers. which is why advertisers spend as much as they do on getting celebrities to endorse their products and vying for prime time to advertise their products. of course, one could also say that it depends on what your cynicism quotient is!

From: Karen Specht (karen.spechtATcpa.state.tx.us)
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--oniomania

"Buy and save" brings to mind another contradictory phrase often encountered when shopping: "new AND improved".

From: Don Salmon (virtrealATjps.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--oniomania

Has it occurred to anyone that when the Stanford University drug is perfected (assuming this report is not tongue-in-cheek) it will set off a buying spree for the new drug?

From: Gete Bond (bgeteATqwest.net)
Subject: Re: oniomania

Are you aware that Culture Jammers Campaign Adbusters is sponsoring a "Buy Nothing Day" this coming November 29th---Nov. 30th.

Guess we'll have to strap those oniomaniacs in an Armani straitjacket, eh?

From: Kate Bedard (bedard.kateATusa.net)
Subject: a can of worms

What you are really talking about is not buying, but marketing, the great adjunct to sales. Marketing is to sales as foreplay is to sex, as courtship is to marriage. And life is all about marketing - you market yourself to your friends, to your employer, and they to you. Your children market themselves to their sports team (pick me!) and your church markets itself (services at 9 & 11) and God to you. All consumer goods are marketed - the good marketing plans are the ones we remember (plop, plop, fizz, fizz...) - the ineffective ones are lost in the crowd. And here's my own personal marketing caveat - "he who talks the most, buys". On that note, have a nice day.

From: Betty Bandel (bettyATpananix.com)
Subject: Buying

I am 82 years old and am still learning. When age 82 comes rolling along for some reason or other spending is not the problem. Getting out to do it seems to be the big problem. I really shouldn't complain. At least I do get up and about and enjoy the computer.

From: William M. Davidson (wmdavidATsandia.gov)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--oniomania

I think the commercialization of holidays has exploded in the last decade. When I was in high school in the early 70s, I remember that most stores were closed on national holidays. Gradually in the late 70s and 80s, stores were open but I don't remember the "hard" sell holiday ads until the 90s.

From: Ruth Ann Harnisch (ruthannATthehf.com)
Subject: oniomania

Are you buying the Coke or the cool? This reminds me of the episode of the BBC sitcom "Absolutely Fabulous" in which oniomaniac Edwina receives a gift of earrings from her daughter. "Are they Lacroix?" Edwina asks eagerly. "Do you like them?" asks her daughter. "I do if they're Lacroix," replies Edwina.

Has "affluenza" (the unhealthy relationship of people to money) made it into any dictionaries yet? I hope you will consider this a special request for more wealth/money words, and that your readers will accept an invitation to visit morethanmoney.org to continue the conversation about money and what we do with it.

Ruth Ann Harnisch, Chair of the Board, More Than Money

From: Susan Dell (susandellATinterlink.com.ar)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--oniomania

As the advice to marketers goes, "Don't sell the steak, sell the sizzle." It seems to me that many people buy things to satisfy a deep yearning for purpose in their lives, the sizzle that will add meaningfulness. The great part for marketers is that as soon as the novelty of the last purchase wears off, usually in a week or two, the hungry buyer is back to spend more money.

From: Bruce Furman (bfATdesign.mxim.com)
Subject: Re: oniomania

We in the West are accused of subscribing to the religion of materialism and acquisitiveness. I think we are engaged in this more because we have more economic means. One can observe preschool age children, who have not been exposed to TV, living in almost any country or culture, making rock collections, shell collections, insect collections, etc. This demonstrates that acquiring objects is a common and instinctual human trait, not a unique Western trait. Taking pleasure in the process of buying objects is also a common human trait. The most gratifying feature is that we control the process. We can take many days to research and choose what we want to buy or we can be spontaneous and "grab something from the shelf." When people feel an absence of control in other aspects of their lives they obtain satisfaction from this aspect of shopping. As long as we maintain appropriate value on family and community life, our spiritual lives, and charity, we should not be ashamed of materialism.

From: Fred Tourette (touretteATatt.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--duopoly

Surely I won't be the only one to write in mentioning the Microsoft-Intel duopoly, otherwise known as, "Wintel".

From: Richard J. Barbalace (rjbarbalATmit.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--monopsony

So would a case of many sellers and many buyers be a "polyopoly"? :)

From: Scott Dittman (sdittmanATwlu.edu)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--monopsony

Did SONY adapt its name from this root (being something of a worldwide "provider of provisions")?

From: Rachel (rachel.zurvasATmail.com)
Subject: This week's theme - buying & selling

An interesting fact in relation to 'buy' and 'sell' in Mandarin Chinese is that the two words are the same in the spoken language, differing only in the tone used. And the two words together mean 'business'. I'm not sure how the characters differ. (I'm learning Mandarin Chinese)

From: Rob Loughran (rloughranATap.net)
Subject: "There is no Frigate..."

There is no Frigate like a CD-ROM
by Rob Loughran with apologies to Emily

There is no Frigate like a CD-ROM
To Take us lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Webpage
Of Electronic inanity--
This Traverse we moderns take
Eyestrain's not the only toll--
Hours on this digital Chariot
Rots the Human soul.

From: Jackie McCraw (jackie.mccrawATed.gov)
Subject: Thank You

The information about your site was published in The Braille Forum, a newsletter of the American Council of the Blind. I have tried your service twice, and it's great. Those of us who can't see to look up words in a dictionary, or who find online dictionaries difficult and cumbersome to use because we use screen reading software, really enjoy using your word definition services. Thank you for making them available by e-mail.

From: Rubyblue Black (rubyblueblackAThotmail.com)
Subject: BookCrossing

If you check out the site Bookcrossing I'm pretty sure you will be immediately delighted with the concept. And you will also see, I'm sure that it is a site that AWAD'ers would be glad to know about... To me, if you are a word person, you are also a book person; the two cannot be separated.

From: Eric Shackle (eshackleATozemail.com.au)
Subject: Re: Words with double connections (Re: diplopia)

Another interesting phrase is Double Dutch. However, Double English is much worse. You can read about that, and about two places called Emerald City, in my e-book.

"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra." -Lewis Carroll, mathematician and writer (1832-1898)

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